Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar, called glucose, is abnormally low. The symptoms of hypoglycemia can vary from person to person, as can the severity. If you know someone who has diabetes .If you take in more glucose than your body needs at the time, your body stores the extra glucose in your liver and muscles in a form called glycogen. Hypoglycemia occurs when a person's blood sugar levels are abnormally low, and it's a potentially serious condition.In people who don't have diabetes, some underlying causes of hypoglycemia include: certain medications; alcohol; certain cancers; critical illnesses such as kidney, liver or heart failure; hormonal deficiencies; and disorders that result in your body producing too much insulin. People with diabetes may experience hypoglycemia if they don't eat enough or if they take too much insulin - the medicine most commonly used to treat diabetes in kids. When blood glucose begins to fall, glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas, signals the liver to break down glycogen and release glucose, causing blood glucose levels to rise toward a normal level. If you have diabetes, this glucagon response to hypoglycemia may be impaired, making it harder for your glucose levels to return to the normal range.
Part of living with diabetes is learning to cope with some of the problems that go along with having the disease. Hypoglycemia typically arises from abnormalities in the mechanisms involved in glucose homeostasis. However, a wide variety of conditions, many of them rare, can cause low blood sugar in people without diabetes. Carbohydrates are the main dietary sources of glucose. Rice, potatoes, bread, tortillas, cereal, milk, fruit, and sweets are all carbohydrate-rich foods. Hypoglycemia can produce a variety of symptoms and effects but the principal problems arise from an inadequate supply of glucose as fuel to the brain , resulting in impairment of function ( neuroglycopenia ). Decreased levels of glucose lead to deficient cerebral glucose availability (ie, neuroglycopenia) that can manifest as confusion, difficulty with concentration, irritability, hallucinations, focal impairments (eg, hemiplegia), and eventually, coma and death. Your body, particularly your brain and nervous system, needs a certain level of glucose to function - not too much, and not too little. If you know someone who has diabetes, you may have heard them talk about "insulin shock," which is the common name for a severe hypoglycemic reaction. Treatment of hypoglycemia involves short-term steps to get your blood sugar level back into a normal range and long-term steps by your doctor to identify and treat the underlying cause of hypoglycemia.
Causes of Hypoglycemia
The common Causes of Hypoglycemia :
- Hypoglycemia may result from medication changes or overdoses, infection, diet changes, metabolic changes over time, or activity changes; however, no acute cause may be found.
- Excessive alcohol consumption can block the process of glucose production, depleting your body's stores of glycogen this usually only occurs if you haven't eaten and are drinking heavily.
- Enzyme deficiency
- Excessive doses of insulin or some diabetes medications, including sulfonylureas and meglitinides (Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, and thiazolidinediones alone should not cause hypoglycemia but can when used with other diabetes medicines.)
- Hypoadrenalism (Cortisol), hypopituitarism (growth hormone) (in children), glucagons deficiency (rare), and epinephrine (very rare)
- Taking someone else's oral diabetes medication accidentally is a common cause of hypoglycemia.
- Severe illnesses of the liver, such as drug-induced hepatitis, can cause hypoglycemia because your liver is a key organ in glucose production the kidney also is an important organ in glucose production, and conditions such as kidney failure affect glucose levels.
- Ketotic hypoglycemia of childhood
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Some common Symptoms of Hypoglycemia :
- Fast heartbeat
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling ( malaise )
- Irritability, or even aggression
- Difficulty paying attention, or confusion
Treatment of Hypoglycemia
Here is the list of the methods for treating Hypoglycemia :
- A tumor in your pancreas or elsewhere is usually treated by surgical removal.
- Considering the multiple causes of a sudden episode of hypoglycemia in a patient with previously well-controlled diabetes, advising transport and ED evaluation is prudent.
- If a medication is the cause of your hypoglycemia, your doctor will likely suggest changing the medication.
- Treatment of the underlying condition that's causing your hypoglycemia, to prevent it from recurring
- Hypoglycemia frequently recurs over 24–48 hours after initial correction because of the prolonged action of some sulfonylureas.
- If you are otherwise healthy and you notice occasional hypoglycemia-like symptoms, you might try eating a diet that's lower in simple sugars and/or cutting down on your caffeine intake.
- In the diabetic patient, search diligently for the cause (eg, medication changes, dietary changes, new metabolic changes, recent illness, occult infection) of the episode.
- If hypoglycemia is caused by an insulinoma (insulin-secreting tumor), surgery to remove the tumor is the best treatment.
- Treatment depends on the severity and underlying cause of the hypoglycemia.